The shooter at the Fort Lauderdale airport didn’t face the prospect of encountering a lawful firearms carrier when he started his rampage. Excepting the police, of course. Who arrived too late to save five innocent passengers. Florida does not allow lawful carry of firearms in their airports’ common terminal and baggage claim areas. Forty-four states do. Ish.
Many of these states (e.g., California, New Jersey) make it extremely difficult if not impossible to get a license to carry a concealed firearm. And many others (e.g., Arkansas, Mississippi) prohibit firearms in “sterile areas” — which they deem to be inside of any passenger terminal. Some states (e.g., Massachusetts) allow cased, unloaded firearms in common areas.
Some states give airports leeway to post signs prohibiting firearms in specific buildings. And some states only prohibit lawfully carried firearms past security checkpoints. You’re good to stow — without fear or favor — in Texas and Wyoming airports.
So carrying in airports is perfectly legal — except where it isn’t. And “carrying” might not mean accessible. Click here for a state-by-state breakdown. Note: I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this info. What’s the situation where you live?